ToBe DIScontinued! - The Hall of Unresolved TV Cliffhangers: 1996-2000
The cliffhanger snowball just kept rolling and rolling, and with the
Internet becoming more popular, it was inevtiable that people would use the
online medium to complain about unresolved cliffhangers. So here are some
more cliffhangers, this time from the digital age.
Show: Space: Above and Beyond
Genre: Sci-fi Action Network: Fox Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best"
Details: It was cancelled with some marines apparently -- but possibly
not -- killed in action (1
character blown up, 2 more chucked into a poisonous
atmosphere) and the fates of other crew members uncertain.
(Thanks George Avalos! And a mention to Nadia as well.)
Show: Nowhere Man
Genre: Drama Network: UPN Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Gemini Man"
Details: To the best of the first submitter Miles Carter's recollection, the main
character, Thomas Veil (Bruce Greenwood) had this dude, involved in the
whole life-stealing conspiracy that had been afffecting his life, tied up
in a house. He revealed that Thomas was actually part of an experiment to
see how far one could go in reworking peoples memories from the beginning.
There were a few discrepancies in his account especially
concerning the execution photo that started it all. So Thomas shot the
dude in the leg to try and persuade him to tell him the truth, and the
dude killed himself by biting down on one of those hollow teeth filled w/
poison. The show ended with Thomas standing there aghast.
Extra info has since surfaced: After finding out that his so-called "real" identity was just an identity programmed into his mind, Veil found a safehouse that he supposedly set up for himself pre-brainwash, as well as a negative of the original photo that started it all, "Hidden Agenda": not three hanged men in South America but three US senators being hanged in a field near Washington, DC. After the raiding of the FBI office by gunmen (a glaring "homage" to Three Days of The Condor) and the replacement of a US senator with a lookalike (Veil was hoping to look for info from them), Veil then went to an FBI director's home, leading to the scene above, with the FBI director revealing that Veil was also an FBI agent and part of a deep undercover operation called Project Gemini. (Get the ep title now?)
(Thanks Ryan Coulter! )
Show: Strange Luck
Genre: Adventure Network: Fox Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Lightning Strikes"
Details: This was a show on Fox that was going to be tied in with the
X-Files (apparently, one character claimed that Agent Mulder was
one of his friends). The premise of the
show was that the lead character (D.B. Sweeney)
always had good luck no matter where he went. Its cliffhanger was that the
character, after getting struck by lightning, finding his daddy, and seeing
his daddy and brother die in an explosion... got struck by lightning AGAIN
(thus the ep title).
(Thanks Baskinator! Also,
some info has been added by
Genre: Sitcom Network: Fox Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Will You Marry Me?" (many of the eps had titles in the
form of a question, like "Who's Janet?" and "Do We Have to Write You a
Details: Two of the lead characters, Tate Fonovan and Maria Pitillo,
broke down in the desert on their wedding day. The series was
cancelled, so viewers never found out if they made it to the church on time.
(Thanks Paul Freitag!) Show: The Governor
Genre: Prison Drama Network: ITV Last Aired: 1996
Details: The second series ended with Craig Charles (a guest star perhaps?) gunning
down Janet McTeer (the main character, governor of the prison it took place in). Never
came back to resolve it.
(Thanks Dom Robinson!)
Show: Cardiac Arrest
Genre: Medical Drama Network: BBC Last Aired: 1996
Details: The series ended with one of the doctors, Dr. Collin (Andrew Lancel) being stabbed with a
hyperdermic syringe full of adrenaline. It was left with him fighting
a seemingly losing battle for his life and was set up for a new
series. Trouble is, the series was dropped for supposedly giving a
negative impression of the NHS.
Genre: Satirical Business Drama Network: Fox Last Aired: 1996
Details: Starring Adrian Pasdar as Jim Profit, a high-level executive Iago, this show was a parody of the business world, as Jim Profit ruthlessly got rid of anyone who stood in his way. Unfortunately, the ratings on Fox were so low that Fox didn't even show the final episodes. There was sort of an ending, as Jim Profit brought peace and stability to the company he considered his family. However, one of Jim's enemies had discovered that Jim had stolen the identity of someone else, and she was going to Europe to find the real Jim Profit.
(Thanks James Lynch!) Show: Space Cases Genre: Family Sci-Fi
Network: Nickelodeon (yes, the guys responsible for Rugrats)
Last Aired: 1997
Details: Basically "Lost in Space" for kids, this Nick show ended with
the main characters jumping into a white hole that should take them back
to earth. Then the show ended, and was not renewed. (Thanks
Show: Forever Knight
Genre: Drama Network: CBS Last Aired: 1996
Episode Title: "Last Knight"
Details: By this ep, only three characters remained: the titular Knight
(Geraint Wyn Davies), LaCroix (Nigel Bennett) and Natalie (Catherine Discher).
Knight bit Natalie in an attempt to become human, however, it left her at
the threshhold of death and LaCroix suggested that he either let her die or
bring her across to her world. Knight's own suggestion: have LaCroix stab
him with a stake.
(Thanks, Robert Jenner!)
Genre: Animated Comedy Network: USA Network Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "Four Weddings Inconceivable"
Details: Another wedding cliffhanger! Many of the main characters got
hitched in the finale including the title character (Jason Alexander aka
George on Seinfeld), but then suddenly popping out of nowhere was his late
wife Beatrice (Nancy Travis, who also played Beatrice's sisters). Shades of
"Good and Evil"
perhaps? (Personal interest: show was produced by Klasky Csupo, who
also produced the popular Nick show Rugrats.)
About the cliffhanger, series (and final episode) writer Michael Markowitz noted (in Sep 1998) on the alt.tv.duckman newsgroup:
"We never formally planned Part II... and I'll never tell what I personally had in mind. I'm hoping to leave it to my heirs, for the inevitable day when Duckman is revived by future generations. Ah, the Spandex suits they'll wear, the hovercrafts they'll fly!"
(Thanks John H, for the quote!)
Show: Boston Common
Genre: Sitcom Network: NBC Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "Sophomore's Choice"
Details: There were four (!) cliffhangers: 1) Leonard (Steve Paymer) trying to ask Cookie (guest star Margot Kidder) to
marry him, 2) Tasha (Tasha Smith) about to be fired from her job, 3) Joy (Traylor
Howard) being hired as a professor in Jack's (Vincent Ventresca) department,
and 4) Wyleen (Hedy Buress) telling brother Boyd (Anthony Clark) to move out. (Thanks Aaron Carlisle,
for the pointer!)
Show: Lois & Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman Genre: Action Drama Network: ABC Last Aired: 1997
Episode Title: "The Family Hour"
Rough Details: I got this through my poll form, from a couple
different people (though I'll only credit the first). Apparently, the end of this ep saw a baby
come out of nowhere with a note to Clark Kent (Dean Cain) for him and Lois Lane (Teri
Hatcher), now his wife, to take care of him. This was supposed to be explained in a
5th season, and although the show was renewed for one, ABC ended up backing
out of it, effectively cancelling the show. (Thanks Laura Davies!)
Show: Remember WENN
Genre: Comedy-Drama Network: AMC (American Movie Classics)
Last Aired: 1998 Episode Title: "All's Noisy on the Pittsburgh Front"
Details: If there was such a thing as a "cult" cliffhanger, this would
be it, probably on account of the multitude of storylines involved.
1. In the finale the two rivals for head writer Betty
Roberts (Amanda Naughton), original & current station manager
Victor Comstock (John Bedford Lloyd) & former station manager turned
radio actor Scott Sherwood (Kevin O'Rourke), brought the triangle to a head.
Both men had enlisted, with Capt. Comstock as Lt. Sherwood's immediate
superior. They'd cornered Miss Roberts & asked her who
should be sent overseas between the two. The episode ended with Comstock
saying to Miss Roberts, "As they say at the Buttery, I'm ready to take your
order; what will it be?"
2. Meanwhile Jeff Singer (Hugh O'Gorman) seemed to have finally worn down
ex-wife Hilary Booth's (Melinda Mullins) resistance with his latest
proposal & divorce from his other wife (which is a tale in itself). Only
problem remaining was: she was married to someone else!
3. Meanwhile another relationship had come to a crux: that between the
taciturn sound effects man Mr. Foley (Tom Beckett) & dear organist
Eugenia Bremer (Mary Stout). She'd asked him to tell her how she felt about
her & where he wanted the relationship to go, & it would've been
the first time he'd ever spoken on-camera (he'd frequently been referred
to as speaking, but we never got to hear him).
Perhaps show doyen Rupert Holmes set up all those impossible-to-resolve
cliffhangers on purpose. (Perhaps not... check out the revision. -
(Thanks Nathaniel T. Freeman!)
Latest scoop, from Linda M. Young: just to set the record straight on REMEMBER WENN, the series
was supposed to be renewed for a fifth season (either a whole season of 15
episodes or a short season of 8). Indeed, a facet of the fourth season
was a contest AMC ran within four of the episodes: the grand prize was a part
in the next season of the show! Up until September 21, 1998, series creator
and writer Rupert Holmes had no idea the show would be axed. The suits at
AMC waited until he was away on tour with a stage play he had written to
announce the cancellation.
Of course AMC did everything they could to sabotage the series during
fourth season anyway. The existing storylines were ordered dropped, the
episodes were shortened from 29 to 22 minutes in order for the series to be “viable
for syndication” (it has not ever been syndicated; AMC was even too cheap
to let WQED in Pittsburgh have the show for a fundraising drive, even though
WQED offered them free advertising in return), and Holmes’ idea for a movie
spoof was dropped in favor of an absolutely awful story parodying the film
SUNSET BOULEVARD, written by someone who evidently knew little about the
Holmes is currently writing a musical play based upon the series which
we fans hope will resolve the cliffhangers.
Show: The Secret World of
Alex Mack Genre: Children's Sci-Fi Network: Nickelodeon
Last Aired: 1998
Details: This show was about a girl (Larisa Oleynik) who had been dosed
with a chemical and had developed super powers. The company that made the
chemical was evil and was always trying to find out who she was and capture
her for study. The show ended after the company had been defeated and her
dad (Michael Blakley), who had recently found out about her superpowers,
handed her an antidote he developed (he developed the original chemical
Alex had been dosed with). The last shot of the show was Alex looking at
the antidote with a funny grin on her face. Some believe that was exactly
the way it was meant to end...
(Thanks Miles Carter!)
Show: Cybill Genre: Sitcom
Network: CBS Last aired: 1998 Episode Title: "Ka-Boom!"
Details: Mary Ann (Christine Baranski) had some financial
troubles (her "invisible" husband Dr. Dick tricked her into signing a form, thus giving
him control of her fortune). Also, she ended up in jail with Cybill (Cybill
Shepherd), whose morning show had just been cancelled, on charges that they
had killed Dr. Dick (they bombed him). Show: F/X: The Series Genre: Crime Drama
Network: syndicated Last aired: 1998 Episode Title: "Red Storm"
Details: Based on the movie F/X, with Cameron Daddo and Christina Cox playing two F/X artists solving crimes (yeah, really). So basically, Victor (Andreas Apergis) preteneded to be Rollie (Daddo) to sleep with Angie (Cox). Late in the ep, Angie discussed this with the real Rollie, and later shot at Victor, but there is no proof that Victor died, nor is there any resolution to the Rollie/Angie storyline. (Thanks Sarah Gittens!)
A season ending cliffhanger which was never resolved, but
which won't be counted in the Hall of Shame:
Show: Martial Law
Genre: Action Drama
Cliffhanger Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "End Game"
Details: "Sammo (Hung) playing a guy named Sammo (Law)" pretty much
described this crime show. The 1st season ended on a cliffhanger
where Sammo and some guy named Lee Hei (Tzi Ma) fell off a chopper.
However the show got a rehaul during the summer, and so instead of a real
tie-up viewers got a perfunctory one, making not even a mention of Lee's
(apparent) death in the 2nd season. The fact there was a second season
in the first place, however, is what DQ's it from consideration here.
Genre: Action Drama Network: CBS Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Live, Love, Lose and Learn"
Details: This show was about a Chicago cop and his family. The last
aired episode ended with an explosion at an abortion clinic. Joey, played by
Matthew John Armstrong, was one of the police officers assigned to look after the clinic after threats were made. The last scene
contained an individual walking outside the clinic when a pipe bomb was
thrown in. Joey went into the building to see one of the nurses helping
people out, the next thing the bomb exploded.
Show: The Silver Surfer
Genre: Animation Sci-Fi Network: Fox Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "End of Eternity, Part One" (according to
Details: Not only was this show one that ended
without resolving its
premise, it ended on a cliffhanger: Thanos (Gary Krawford) basically
destroyed the universe. The Silver Surfer (Paul Essiembre) was supposed to
rebuild it the following season, but Marvel's bankruptcy meant it
Show: Caroline in the City
Genre: Sitcom Network: NBC Last aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Caroline and the Big Move"
Details: One of the show's subplots involved the romance between
Caroline (Lea Thompson) and Richard (Malcolm Gets). The first two season
enders both involved one character about to marry someone else. This thread was rehashed in the fourth season ender when Caroline noticed Richard on
the balcony just as she was about to marry recurring character Randy
(Anthony Tyler Quinn). Show: Mortal Kombat: Conquest
Genre: Action Drama Network: Syndicated Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "Vengeance"
Details: Shao Kahn (Jeffrey Meek) decided to stop screwing around
and sended out hit squads after just about every character
in the series to take them out. At the end of the series,
he claimed to have already killed them all to the defeated and
captured thunder god and showed off souvenirs from all his other
defeated enemies. If there had been a second season we
would have found out which of the characters had actually been
killed, and which had been captured. As it stands we know
that Shang Tsung (Bruce Locke) survived to manage to worm his way back into
Shao Kahn's partial good graces, that the Reptile species was
wiped out at this time for plotting rebellion except for one
survivor who may or may not be the leader of the rebellion,
and the hero probably survived since these three appear in
the video game.
(Thanks David Johnston!)
Show: NewsRadio Genre: Sitcom Network: NBC Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "New Hampshire"
Details: After having to suffer from the death of one of the show's stars
Phil Hartman, this show finally came to an end in traditional NBC fashion...
on a cliffhanger, which had most of the cast moving to New Hampshire to run a
local station after the WNYX's owner (Stephen Root) sold the NYC radio
station and persuaded most of the cast to move... with the exception of Dave
and Matthew (Dave Foley and Andy Dick). NBC never gave the show a chance to
renaissance in NH but instead canned it after 5 seasons.
Lower Wolf gives his insight on why people complain about some cliffhangers,
while not others:
"I think people complain more about series they get more attached to. Out
of the ones you mention there I've only seen Soap and Cybill (others
mentioned: Popular, Fugitive, Two of A Kind, Remember WENN and Partners), I actually
liked the cliffhanger of Soap because it just felt like it was done on
purpose with no intention to resolve it. As for Cybill I don't think I've
seen all the way to the end, it was a fairly light show that I didn't really
get into, that could explain why people didn't really worry about the
Show: Two of a Kind Genre: Sitcom Network: ABC Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Goodbye Girl"
Details: This Olsen twins sitcom (which, like "Full House", was
obviously named after a good poker hand) featured Christopher
Sieber as the single father of (what else?) twins. One of the regulars was
Sally Wheeler who played a female freshman student -- who happened to be
their nanny. In the series' 21st ep, the "nanny" left to travel to South
America with a classmate (Eric Gustvanson, according to
epguides.com) and that was the
cliffhanger. Though there was one more episode before the show was canned (an
ep which basically lifted the plot of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"), I've
decided to include the cliffhanger here. Well, this is one sure sign the
series-ending cliffhanger is getting old... The Olsens weren't even born
when Jessica Tate got shot in 1981 (they were born in
Genre: Action-Adventure Spy Drama Network: BBC Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Enemy Within"
Details: One of the major characters, Alex (Paula Hunt), had decided to
marry Adam (guest Joseph May). Shortly after the ceremony, Adam was
mysteriously shot after arguing with a guest, who also later
captured Ros (Jaye Griffiths) and Beckett (Jesse Birdsall).
(Thanks The Machine!)
Show: The Sentinel Genre: Sci-Fi Network: UPN Last Aired: 1999
Episode Title: "The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg"
Details: The title of the finale refers to a thesis written by Garett Maggart's character on Richard Burgi's Det. Jim Ellison, who had enhanced senses. Let's just say that Ellison's secrets getting out wasn't exactly the best thing to happen to him. (Thanks
Genre: Animated Action Network: Fox Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Final Confrontation"
Details: Apparently, the title of this show based on an Argentinean
comic book refers to the name of an artificially created woman (Cathy
Weseluck). Her secret identity: a MALE literature teacher. Apparently, in
the end, she and her creator/archfoe Von Richter (Terry Klassen) were caught
in an explosion with no apparent way out. BTW, this cliffhanger never aired
in the US, it only aired in Canada.
(Thanks Michael Lo!)
Genre: Sci-Fi Network: Fox, later Sci-Fi Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Seer" (Rembrandt Brown was found to be one at the
Details: At the end of the last episode, Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant
Derricks) jumped through a wormhole to his home universe, to fight the
Kromaggs (I think), leaving the other Sliders behind staring into the
wormhole. I think that this cliffhanger was meant to be bait for the
Sci-Fi channel to pick up another season (They all are, aren't they? - Rover_Wow), but they didn't bite. (Thanks
Scott A. Hill!) Show: Superman
Genre: Animated Action Drama Network: WB Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "Legacy, Part II" (according to
Details: If this doesn't count, at least it comes close. It ended with
the world distrusting Superman (Tim Daly, the new
Fugitive) because he was mind controlled by
Darksied and Superman punching Luthor (Clancy Brown), who was a businessman
in this one, in the nose. (Thanks
Disruptor!) Show: Code Name: Eternity
Network: Syndicated (it was made in Canada)
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Shift"
Details: In the last episode, the villain, Banning (Andrew Gillies),
fired up his machine to make the Earth inhabitable by his race and
inhospitable to humans. Good guys Ethaniel and Laura (Cameron Bancroft and
Ingrid Kavelaars) got trapped, but they'd created enough of a chemical to
possibly keep a small part of the Earth safe from the weapon.
Genre: Crime Drama
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "On Your Marks"
Details: NBC had a REALLY sloppy handling of the show's finale. Not
only did they show the finale without airing the episode that was supposed
to air before (evident in the recap prologue in which there was stuff that
hadn't been previously shown yet), they ended the season on a cliffhanger
involving the Profiler getting framed for murder, which had been used
previously from the Ally Walker era of the show. Show: The Pretender
Genre: Sci-Fi Conspiracy Drama Network: NBC Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "The Inner Sense"
Details: Again, more abuse of the 'hanger by NBC. The final episode
ended with a major subway train explosion, a few seconds after a couple of
major characters had jumped off the train. However this 'hanger was
"resolved" in the telefilm "Pretender 2001" (not exactly a creative title,
is it?). Notes:
1. As mentioned on this page, Michael T. Weiss (from 2000 Malibu Road) was in this one. He's the first actor I know to have been directly involved in 2 different series ending cliffhangers.
2. "The Pretender" did a crossover with "Profiler". Also, 2 stories that
were started on this show were concluded on "Profiler".
3. Pamela Gidley had a 2 year stint on this show, and had also appeared in
"Strange Luck". Side note: She also appears
alongside cliffhanger magnet Ray Wise in the film "Landspeed".
4. There were originally intended to be 4 TP telefilms. TP stopped after
just two, leaving quite a few issues unresolved.
Show: Now and Again
Genre: Drama Network: CBS
Last Aired: 2000 Episode Title: "The Eggman Cometh" (Referring to
the bad guy from this ep, who also appeared in the first ep)
Details: Basically, the protagonist's (Eric Close) wife and daughter
(Margaret Collin and Heather Matarazzo) apparently did find out the truth
about him (after being killed in a subway accident, his brain was placed in
a new genetically bio-engineered body by the US government), and as a result
were in mortal danger (the government forbade such contact). The finale
ended with him spiriting them out of their house barely a step ahead of the
government agents who'd headed there to kill them.
(By the way, Christine Baranski of Cybill
was apparently in this series according to IMDB, though for clarity, I've
left her out of the Hall of Shame as she's
uncredited. In fact, I leave out all uncredited roles. BTW, Christine was
apparently the wife of some guy the protagonist's wife kept talking to.)
(Also, this ep was, according to the now-defunct Scribe's Now and Again
Database, intended to set up Eggman, played by Kim Chan, for the next
(Thanks David Samuel Barr!)
Show: Get Real
Genre: Drama Network: Fox
Last Aired: 2000
Details: The final aired ep was a cliffhanger... Also, Fox
decided for some reason not to even air the last 2 episodes, let alone
order it for a second season, and even IF Fox had aired the season/series
finale, it ended with the patriarch of the Green family (played by Jon
Tenney) collapsing from a stroke. There was no second season order, so that
was a cliffhanger all the same.
Genre: Sitcom Network: NBC
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "My Best Friend's Wedding"
Details: The finale saw Diego (Bruno Campos) about to be deported, and he could
only be saved by getting married. ( This 'hanger was also used the previous season, by the way. - Rover_Wow) The title character (Christina Applegate of
"Married With Children" fame) was agonising about whether to do so, but when she
finally decided to do it, she found that Linda (Liza Snyder) had married him instead.
(Thanks Paul Hyett! Yes, the
same guy who wrote the Cybill quote you see on my front page.)
Show: Peter Benchley's Amazon
Genre: Adventure Drama Network: Syndicated
Last Aired: 2000
Episode Title: "A Bible and A Gun"
Details: Because the plane they were in could only carry two, Jimmy (Chris Martin) and Alex (C. Thomas Howell)
struggled over a gun, and Jimmy was shot... Alex stayed behind to dress Jimmy's wounds while Karen (Carol Alt, previously of Capitol)
flew away in the plane because of approaching cannibals... eventually flying into a storm and having to broadcast a mayday
(the submitter doesn't know what happened to the wounded Jimmy or
why Alex left him).
Alex showed up with a machine gun in one hand and shot down some warriors in time to prevent an execution (however, the submitter doesn't remember whose execution it was), and held up a bible in the other saying he had their
"lost words" (get the ep title now?). Anyone care to fill in more details?
Show: Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles
Genre: Animated Sci-fi Action Network: Syndicated
Last Aired: 2000
Details: The show's final arc (on Earth) was cut short (only the first 2 eps of the 5 were made) and the remaining eps replaced with clip shows, even though some of the dialog for the unproduced eps had been recorded. Anyways, the last episode dealt with
Rico being the squad leader, sent to check out why a
base wasn't reporting in, and being on the edge of a
major bug counteroffensive. They were so massively
outnumbered that Rico lost his cool, and they
eventually fortified a radio tower, hoping help would
show up, then as it did, the arriving ships were shot
down by Plasma bugs. Carmen, in the last dropship
went to pick up Rico and the Roughnecks.
Submitter adds this caveat tho: "But I may be
wrong. I know I saw it, as I was a fan at the time,
but years have gone by, and I never taped the series."
Also, we have Greg Weisman dropping hints about what he had planned for the final arc, and
why these plans never came to fruition.
(Thanks Richard Krueger!)